Sexual Desire, Function and Combat PTSD

While it’s something that many people don’t want to talk about, sex matters to people. Sexual function and sexual desire can be important parts of a person’s life, particularly if he or she is in a relationship. And, unfortunately, what we know is that combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects a veteran’s sexual desire and sexual function in negative ways. In fact, some studies have showed such a correlation between sexual dysfunction and PTSD that some have proposed making it an official, diagnostic criteria.

Sexual Desire and Combat PTSD

Sexual desire, is, of course, one’s desire for sexual relations and whether one has a partner or not, this can be important. In a 2014 study, Problems in Sexual Functioning among Male OEF/OIF Veterans Seeking Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress, 63% of male veterans in the study reported sexual desire problems. Of those with partners, 72% reported a lack of sexual desire. According to the study, white race, combat exposure, social support, and avoidance/numbing symptoms predicted a lack of sexual desire. The 2008 study Sexual Functioning in War Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, found that veterans with PTSD had significantly reduced sexual activity including sexual fantasies, foreplay, oral sex, and intercourse, in the previous month. Veterans cited their own health problems as the reason for reduced sexual activity.

It’s not clear why veterans with combat PTSD experience a loss in sexual desire but I suspect the above study may have hit on one main reason: the PTSD symptoms of avoidance/numbing. These symptoms often produce a lack of emotional intimacy in relationships and it only stands to reason that sexual intimacy would also be reduced.

Sexual Function and Combat PTSD

Unfortunately, sexual desire and sexual function can be impacted by combat posttraumatic stress disorder. Learn what to do about combat PTSD and sex.Several studies have focused on physical, sexual dysfunction in combat PTSD veterans. In Problems in Sexual Functioning among Male OEF/OIF Veterans Seeking Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress, an official erectile dysfunction diagnosis was present in 12% of male combat veterans while sexual arousal problems were present in 62% of partnered veterans.

In the 2002 study Sexual Dysfunction in Combat Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, “patients [combat veterans] with PTSD had poorer scores on overall satisfaction and orgasmic function and showed trends toward poorer scores on intercourse satisfaction and erectile function.” In this study, erectile dysfunction rate was 85% in veterans with PTSD while it was 22% in veterans without PTSD.

Medication, Sexual Function, Desire and Combat PTSD

It is not known why sexual desire and sexual function are so impeded in veterans with combat PTSD but part of the reason may be medication-related. Antidepressant therapy is common in combat PTSD treatment and this medication may impact desire, arousal, and sexual functioning.

How to Improve Sexual Desire and Functioning in Combat PTSD

Medication can address some sexual dysfunction issues and if the sexual function or arousal is being impacted due to a PTSD medication, a change in medication can often solve the problem. Many choices of medication exist so, in general, veterans should not have to live with this side effect.

Additionally, there is research that suggests that treating the underlying combat PTSD will correct the problems in sexual desire and function. This makes perfect sense. As other PTSD symptoms lessen, so do these ones.

Psychotherapy for combat PTSD is also often helpful in addressing these types of issues.

However, none of this help can be employed if the combat veteran is not open about what is happening for him or her so my biggest piece of advice for veterans experiencing reduced sexual desire or functioning is to be open with his or her healthcare provider so that you can look for a solution together. And remember: this, too, can be a symptom of combat PTSD and is not your fault.

 

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/understandingcombatptsd/2015/01/sexual-desire-function-and-combat-ptsd/

Sanctuary Trauma and the ‘Sacred’ This is also a problem in the USA

Some Veterans experience traumas beyond the battlefield. One of these can be called, “sanctuary trauma”. A concept developed by Dr. Steven Silver, sanctuary trauma “occurs when an individual who su…

Source: Sanctuary Trauma and the ‘Sacred’

Helping the veteran community.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing

This veteran is from the Vietnam conflict and is a former POW. He needed to move residences at short notice. The previous landlord didn’t want to fix the house where he was staying. Instead of fixing the house, the landlord gave the veteran 3 days to move out. Tri-state Veterans Community Alliance (TVCA) contacted me and Ken to see if we could help this veteran.

 

I got a vision from God to help the veteran community in some way. This was our first project from that vision and it went well. The veteran needed the next home painted and help with the move. On Saturday my son, Ken, and I painted the house as much as we could. The new landlord didn’t bring enough paint, so we did what we could with the time and supplies we had. On Monday, Jack, a friend from my church Crossroads, Elizabeth, a member of Team RWB, Ria, a member of Team Rubicon, and I packed and made 3 trips of furniture and other goods to move the veteran.

 

We are trying to start a group that would help veterans with things, like moving, if they don’t have the money for it. Also, with painting if they don’t have anyone to paint for them and other things like putting a window A/C in. The idea is to connect as many of the organizations that want to help veterans together to make an impact on the every day life of the disabled veterans in the community. This was an effort put together from TVCA, to Ken and I, then we contacted Team RWB, Team Rubicon, WWP, Good Will, and Easter Seals. There was only a small group of us that came together and it was a great success.
I would like to know if there is an organization doing something like what we did and learn more of any ones experience.

 

The First link is a small video of the move and the second of the painting.

 

https://www.facebook.com/rey.centeno.319/videos/10154707778203247/

https://www.facebook.com/rey.centeno.319/videos/10154707779048247/

Carry the Load

Homeless in Cincinnati, Oh

Why Veterans Die by Suicide

Veterans need to come together

Finding Purpose

To answer the question of why veterans die by suicide, we must first consider the reasons why anyone might be driven to consider this option. Than, we must consider how this knowledge applies to the unique experiences of veterans.

Suicide is a reaction to extreme psychological pain.

Suicide is not a “cowards way out,” nor is it the result of someone being “crazy”. In fact, those who have completed suicide are those who are least fearful since they were able to overcome the brain’s survival mechanism based in the amygdala. But what drives individuals to want to overcome their hard-wired desire for self-preservation?

In Suicide as Psychache, Edwin Shneidman argues that suicide is the result of an intense level of emotional pain that exceeds the individual’s threshold to endure it. Of course, we all experience emotional pain in our lives, but in the case of suicide this emotional pain…

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